Africa

South African Airways said “time is of the essence” for the government to provide a pledged cash injection if the loss-making national carrier is to continue flying, Bloomberg News reported. The National Treasury agreed last month to give the airline 2 billion rand ($140 million) as part of the terms of its bankruptcy protection, but has yet to follow through. SAA canceled 38 flights this week to save money and warned that further cuts may be in the offing.

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Heavily-indebted South African Airways (SAA) should be retained as a national airline but needs substantial restructuring, a top official in the governing African National Congress (ANC) party said on Wednesday, Reuters reported. SAA is running out of cash after the government failed to provide 2 billion rand ($138 million) of emergency funding it promised when the airline entered a form of bankruptcy protection last month.

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Credit Suisse has hit back against Mozambique in a case in Britain’s High Court, arguing a government guarantee for a $622 million loan - part of a $2 billion debt scandal - is valid and that it is entitled to claim damages, Reuters reported. Mozambique sued the investment bank last year, alongside a number of other defendants, in a bid to cancel the guarantee and seek compensation for losses related to the debt saga, which tipped its economy into crisis. Credit Suisse rejected Mozambique’s arguments in its defense papers and submitted a counter claim, dated Jan.

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A financial crisis at South African Airways deepened Tuesday as a funding squeeze forced the national carrier to cancel several domestic and international flights. Eight flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town will be cut this week, and 20 between Johannesburg and Durban, the carrier said in an emailed statement. It also canceled 10 flights between Johannesburg and Munich, Bloomberg News reported. The move is “in line with SAA’s usual policy of reviewing flights and consolidating services with low demand,” and is aimed at saving money, the carrier said.

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Less than a month into 2020, South African companies have already announced thousands of job cuts. In a country where a third of the labor force is already unemployed, this will put even more strain on demand and economic growth, Bloomberg News reported. Almost 6,000 jobs are at risk as companies including Telkom SA SOC Ltd., the country’s largest fixed-line operator, and Walmart Inc.’s local unit Massmart Holdings Ltd. plan to reduce their headcount after slumps in earnings. That’s after Sibanye Gold Ltd.

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The cost of Ghana’s financial sector cleanup risks escalating to 20 billion cedis ($3.5 billion) as the government weighs increasing the guaranteed payback for some depositors, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said. The West African nation has approved funding of about 16.4 billion cedis since 2017 to help recapitalize the industry and safeguard depositors’ funds after the central bank revoked the licenses of nine insolvent lenders and 23 second-tier institutions, Bloomberg News reported.

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South Africa’s Public Enterprises Ministry said on Sunday it was talking with the Treasury to raise funds to rescue South African Airways (SAA), following a meeting with business rescue specialists at the weekend, Reuters reported. The airline is one of several state entities, including power company Eskom, struggling with debt after nearly a decade of mismanagement. Their woes are seen as the single greatest threat to Africa’s most industrialised economy and have been largely responsible for bringing South Africa’s credit rating to the brink of junk.

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South Africa is scrambling to secure extra funding to rescue South African Airways (SAA), which last month entered a form of bankruptcy protection in a last-ditch bid to save the state-owned company and around 10,000 related jobs, Reuters reported. Tito Mboweni, the country’s finance minister, told business leaders in Johannesburg ahead of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos next week that the Treasury had provided “financial support to the best of our abilities”.

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A consultancy firm that allegedly arranged a fraudulent $184 million loan announced by Nigerian oil company Lekoil Ltd said on Wednesday that it welcomed an investigation into the matter, Reuters reported. Shares in Lekoil Ltd fell by more than 70% following a suspension of trading after the firm discovered the loan was fraudulent. Lekoil had suspended trading of its shares on the London Stock Exchange on Monday after finding that the $184 million loan it had announced from the Qatar Investment Authority was a “complex facade” by individuals pretending to represent the QIA.

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Ghanaian prosecutors charged the chief executive officers of two defunct lenders for alleged crimes that contributed to a banking crisis that cost the West African nation 12.5-billion cedis ($2.2 billion) in bailouts, Bloomberg News reported. Michael Nyinaku, the former CEO of Beige Bank Ltd., appeared in the Accra Circuit Court on Tuesday on counts of stealing 341 million cedis and money laundering, court documents showed.

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